Although physician recruitment is a challenge for rural communities across Canada, it has not dampened the spirits of the joint Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee between the Municipality of South Dundas and Township of South Stormont.
The Committee, which was launched in May 2019 to address the lack of local physicians, is now taking the first step with a new survey aimed at gathering information from residents on their current family physician arrangement, or lack thereof.
“We need the medical community to understand what we have known for some time in SDG: that we have a need for physicians to serve our communities,” said Mayor Bryan McGillis of South Stormont. “The data collected in this survey will be used to present a viable business case to physicians and medical practitioners looking to establish, expand or relocate their medical practice to a great community with a demonstrated need.”
Along with support from St. Lawrence Medical Clinic staff, the committee has recently obtained the services of Gwen Devereaux, President of Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health. Ms. Devereaux was profiled by CBC Canada for her successes in recruiting over 20 new physicians in Goderich, Ontario, which has a population a little over 7,500 residents.
Ms. Devereaux has expressed excitement at beginning her efforts in the region. “South Stormont and South Dundas are beautiful communities. I am delighted to work with this region, and I am looking forward to a great deal of success in physician recruitment.”
Ms. Devereaux has already met with many community members and is encouraging anyone wishing to speak with her to contact their Municipal office and fill out the online survey.
“We are fully engaged in attracting new medical talent to our region, and now more than ever we recognize the importance of all our hardworking medical professionals. We hope with the help of Ms. Devereaux that we can show how our community will support new and existing physicians and their families just as much as they support us” said Mayor Steven Byvelds of South Dundas.
Please visit forms.southstormont.ca/Physician-Recruitment to complete a short survey to aid us in collecting data to help recruit new physicians to our area.